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CRL Group PLC
1988
Utility: Game Editor
£8.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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14
Phil King, Mark Caswell
Chris Bourne

PHIL KING WRITES A GAME SHOCK!?

For all us who've dreamed of being the next Raf Cecco (?!), but don't know the difference between a Z80 processor and a sheep dip, CRL have this tempting little program. Included with it is an easily completed example game, requiring the main program for execution.

Basically, 2-D Game Maker is a utility to design arcade adventures. A row of icons allow you to change the design of the included game or just start from scratch, designing your own sprites, rooms and objects etc.

Both objects and the main character sprite can be redesigned. The latter also has eight stages of animation and so can be made to walk, or even fly. Sprites are designed by moving a cursor around a grid, representing an enlarged version of the four-character block sprites. Once designed, objects can be placed in any screen, using a simple menu system. In the game proper, objects can be picked up, dropped and used to remove various walls and platforms to allow further progress.

Up to 64 different rooms may be mapped out, using their corresponding hexadecimal numbers. One must be designated to the starting screen (where the game will begin) while another must be the finishing screen (reaching this means completion of the game).

Other aspects which can be altered include scrolling text messages which accompany each screen, the path of the main character's jump and the various sound effects. Gravity and up/down controls can also be switched on/off.

But despite all these options, what you always end up with is essentially a very simplistic arcade adventure/platform game with no scope for anything very different. Although fun for a while, the designer just isn't flexible enough to enable the creation of original games and you always get the feeling that you're only making superficial alterations rather than really designing your own game.

PHIL ... 40%

THE ESSENTIALS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: simple sprites, but at least you can redesign them!
Sound: simple spot effects which can also be altered
Options: definable keys and too many others to mention!

CRITICISM

'While it takes a while to master, you can have great fun with this: fiddling around creating your own sprites, scrolling messages and loads more besides. Sprites, in particular, can be really hilarious. Unfortunately the 'designer' is perhaps more of a basic arcade/adventure with knobs to tweak various aspects. Actual playability is therefore on the weak side, but it still kept me happily occupied for a while.' MARK ... 58%

General Rating: Fiddling with the designer is great fun, but sadly, the game you end up with can never be very good.

46%
N/A
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Screenshot Text

Designing your own sprite with 2-D Game Maker.